Smokey Jake’s BBQ is a mobile gourmet barbeque business in San Diego founded by Jake Schanz, a retired United States Marine from Minnesota. “We serve high-quality, made-from-scratch smoked meats directly to customers. Our food truck has two commercial smokers that you would typically find in a restaurant. The smoking process takes fourteen hours and occurs overnight so that it is ready by the next morning,” Jake explained. “I think our customers enjoy our food because we offer home-style cooking in a commercial environment.”

Jake described the serendipitous origins of Jake’s Smokey BBQ: “When I worked in the information technology sector, I hosted friends from my office at my house for barbeque parties. Pretty soon I was catering to the office. My intent was not to turn my barbeque into a business but when I saw the huge lines at a popular local barbeque spot, I realized that there was a demand for good BBQ.”

Jake started the business in the fall of 2017 as a pop-up outside of breweries. He rented commercial equipment at an affordable price through a timeshare program at a commercial kitchen. He continued to operate as a pop-up throughout 2018 while trying to find a loan to purchase a food truck.

“I wish I had known about Main Street Launch earlier. I went through about twenty different institutions and got rejected by all of them because my business was too new. Eventually, I got referred to Main Street Launch by my bank. It was my last attempt to find a loan, I was about to throw in the towel,” Jake said. At the end of 2018, he used an initial portion of the loan to buy the food trailer he currently owns. “They released the initial amount for the trailer and some working capital before we were even licensed by the health department,” Jake recalled. “I went from the little leagues to the big leagues overnight!”

Smokey Jake’s BBQ is available for catering and you can catch them serving at many brewery events. “Our meat products include: pulled pork, baby back ribs, beef brisket, and quarter chicken smoked on the bone, which can also be served as pulled chicken. The meat is prepared with my signature spice rub and barbeque sauce and is served on a fresh brioche bun that can handle the meat. We also serve plates of meat,” said Jake.

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